Ulster vehicular homicide case forwarded to county court
A Towanda man charged with homicide by vehicle following an April fatal car accident in Ulster Township will face the charges in the county Court of Common Pleas.
During a preliminary hearing Thursday, Magisterial District Judge Timothy Clark held 14 charges against Manuel Jesus Borrero to county court, according to court information. The charges include homicide by vehicle, a third-degree felony, and involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Borrero, 20, is scheduled to appear Oct. 31 at a formal arraignment in county court.
State police also charged Borrero with 12 summary traffic offenses related to the April 21 accident on Route 220 that killed 24-year-old Kyle Decker of Gillett, according to a criminal complaint filed by state police.
The charges include underage possession of alcohol, operating with unsafe equipment, operating with improper tires, careless driving resulting in unintentional death, overtaking a vehicle on the left, driving a vehicle without a valid registration, disregarding a traffic lane, reckless driving and failure to wear a seatbelt.
According to state police, a black 2001 Audi A4 operated by Borrero was traveling southbound on Route 220 at about 5:40 p.m. April 21 when it crossed over the double yellow line near the Seaboard Wellhead facility, about a third of a mile north of the road's intersection with Bridge Street.
Police said Borrero's vehicle then entered the northbound lane, striking a red 2007 Dodge Ram driven by Decker in the driver side tire area.
Upon impact, Borrero's vehicle spun 90 degrees and came to rest in the southbound lane, police said. The Ram lost its front driver side tire, flipped onto its passenger side and then onto its roof before striking a utility pole, according to police.
Deputy county coroner James Bowen pronounced Decker dead at the scene of the accident, police said. Borrero and a passenger in Decker's vehicle were both transported to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre for the treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
Witnesses told police they saw Borrero's vehicle swerving and fishtailing out of control just prior to the accident, police said.
In an interview with police at the hospital, Borrero told police that he had pulled over to the side of Route 220 prior to the accident because his brakes "didn't feel right," police said. Borrero allowed a sport utility vehicle to pass him, then pulled back onto the road, he told police.
At that moment, the vehicles in front of Borrero's began to slow down because of a vehicle making a left turn into a driveway, Borrero told police. Borrero said he tried to brake, but his brakes "went to the floor," he told police.
Borrero said he then tried to downshift and swerve around the SUV in front of him in an attempt to pass between the SUV and Decker's truck, but struck the truck, according to police.
Borrero told police he had been traveling at about 55 miles per hour. Borrero was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, police said.
Police found two bottles of rum behind the driver's side seat in Borrero's car at the scene of the accident, police said. A test of Borrero's blood came back negative for the presence of alcohol.
One witness who offered help at the scene told police Borrero mentioned that he knew his brakes were bad and he couldn't afford to have them fixed, police said.
A police inspection of Borrero's vehicle revealed that it would not have passed a state inspection, police said. Police said the Audi's brake pads were lower than state minimum requirements, both rear tires had inadequate tire tread and tire cord showing and the rotor braking system had visible severe gouging. The vehicle's registration expired in March 2013, police said.
Following his arraignment, Borrero was released from the Bradford County Correctional Facility on non-monetary bail. Borrero is represented by attorney Craig Paul Kalinoski of Scranton.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: email@example.com.